By Sean Whyte
By their blatant law-breaking and absence of law enforcement respectively, Wong and Perhilitan/NRE have humiliated the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
If, as it should have been, the convention had been enforced by CITES many years ago, Wong is unlikely to have got away with so much smuggling of wildlife.
Sadly, a seemingly impotent CITES lacks the will and guts to do what its generously paid bureaucrats are paid to do; namely, place sanctions on countries who continually break the convention – which has being going on in Malaysia for as long as anyone can remember.
What would happen if CITES was to sanction Malaysia now? First and foremost, it would be world news.
It will be a massive blow to the Malaysian tourism industry. It would also be bound to reflect badly on the palm oil industry; who wants palm oil from a country known for its corruption and rampant wildlife smuggling?
Malaysia would/will be placed in a group of countries others are unable to either buy CITES listed wildlife from or sell wildlife to. In other words Malaysia will be blacklisted, tainted – considered to be completely untrustworthy.
The question now is – do the Swiss-based CITES Secretariat and its Standing Committee members (the so-called enforcers) from around the world have the right stuff – the personal integrity to uphold the convention?
Frankly, many think not. These people seem either gutless or impotent, but maybe for once they will prove their countless critics wrong. I would be happy for them to prove me wrong.
It begs belief as to why the Malaysian government protects Wong. Who in government employment, maybe even at ministerial level, is on “the take” from Wong?
One day we will find out. It has to be someone who is able to ensure the law is not enforced despite overwhelming evidence of crimes being committed by individuals named and exposed in the media.
Not that Wong is the only infamous illegal wildlife trader in Malaysia with government officials in his pocket. There are others. More....